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Meeting the Eastbourne RNLI Crew - Urban Industry X Parlez Charity Collection

Sep 2, 2021

RNLI Eastbourne Crew

Being situated in a coastal town the sea is a big part of Eastbourne life. The Urban Industry store is less than a half mile from Eastbourne Marina and its a massive draw for locals and tourists alike. 

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) for us is the perfect local charity to donate to. The local crew are mostly all volunteers and the RNLI itself is a charity which only raises funds to operate through donations every year. For over 200 years the RNLI has literally been saving lives at sea every day all around the coastline of the UK and the Eastbourne station is the busiest station for callouts after the London Thames crew. 

As we reach August 2021 the local team had just passed their 100th call out of the year.

In anticipation of the launch of our collaboration with Parlez we visited our local station and spoke with some of the guys that make up the Eastbourne crew.   

Also click here to purchase a piece from the Urban Industry x Parlez Capsule (from 3/9/2021) and we will donate 100% of the profit to the Eastbourne RNLI Crew.

Mark Sawyer - RNLI Eastbourne Coxswain

Mark Sawyer - Coxswain

Mark is the glue that holds the team together and has given 31 years of service to the local Eastbourne station. He’s due to retire in May but is already planning that he might go another 5 years!  Mark told us that the previous Saturday was the busiest day of the year so far with 5 callouts.  David Sawyer - RNLI Eastbourne Crew

David Sawyer - Crew Member (and also Marks Son)

David has been volunteering for the RNLI for 5 years now and like most crew members is still learning new skills and training every week, sometimes in real time whilst on a shout. Mark works in Eastbourne Marina hoisting boats and conducting maintenance and in turn is very close to the Lifeboat station when the call goes out. “The adrenaline really kicks in when the pager goes off. “ David said. “We’ve just had our busiest part of the year and the callouts always increase around a public bank holiday.” 

When asked about any particular incident that really stood out David recalled, “We had a fishing trawler stuck out in the Channel (The English Channel is the busiest shipping route in the world with 500-600 ships passing through it daily) about 10 miles off the coast. We needed to get a line over to the boat to tow it back in to the safety of the harbour in a storm with thunder and lightning raging around us. It was incredibly challenging but of course incredibly rewarding when the job was done well and no casualties occurred.” 

Guy - RNLI Eastbourne CrewGuy - Launch Operations Manager

Guy not only is a fully trained skipper he also is trained as a counsellor to support the team with any mental health concerns. The crew are often asked to deal with dramatic and harrowing situations that often include the loss of life so this is a vital part of crew support.

RNLI Eastbourne Crew

Some of the rest of the crew. The Eastbourne Station has some 30 Volunteers ready for the callout 24/7, 365 days a year. 

RNLI Eastbourne - Tamar Class Lifeboat

Read more about who and what the RNLI is at their own site here

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